Labels Arent Just For Fashion

Men's Dating

Labels Aren’t Just for Fashion

Nick Slade

Written by: Nick Slade

Nick Slade

Nick spent 20 years in the dating scene before marriage. He has always been the guy friends would come to for advice on relationships, and he developed a knack for giving helpful insights. After college, Nick was a disc jockey for a few years, when the love generation was still alive, so Nick has a lot of relevant experience to draw from when it comes to every aspect of dating, falling in love and screwing things up. He holds Bachelor's degree in humanities and a slew of master’s credits in journalism. Nick is a news junkie and tries to keep up on the latest non-fiction when he has time. He has published two books on how to win at dating and relationships.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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A woman is an important element of a man’s life. The right woman is the most important element. Why, then, are so many men — strong, fearless, and competent in most matters — so cowardly and clueless when it comes to saying, “I’m with her”?

Labeling a relationship seems to come so easily for women. They will proudly stand next to our scrawny, bony body or balding, chubby form and cheerfully proclaim, “This is my boyfriend, Bob.” Why are we men so hesitant to proclaim our relationships from the rooftops? Why is the Facebook relationship status blank for so many men? And when is the right time to start calling your relationship a relationship?

1. Cowardice.

I’ve already stated the most obvious reason: Men are cowards. We have no problem dodging bullets to protect our loved ones, but perhaps a “relationship” seems a bit too girly for some macho guys. We might readily share our sexual exploits with some nameless, faceless female, but admitting to a relationship feels like a display of weakness. After all, it means we might actually have feelings. And those co-workers and friends who are still psychologically in the seventh grade will certainly hoot and tease us about that.


“You owe it to your girlfriend to know

when to declare your relationship.”

2. Commitment phobia.

Of course, there is always our well-known fear of commitment to hold us back from labeling our relationship. If we’re in a relationship, we are honor bound to be faithful. Never mind that we hadn’t dated anybody else for a year before we met our lady, and we have had no thoughts about being with anyone else for the several months we’ve been together. It’s the principle that counts. What if we should get in the mood for a little variety? What if this harmless relationship spirals into something that locks us in for good?

The one-eyed snake is furiously objecting:

  • “Why now?!”
  • “Why me?!”
  • “What if someone better comes along?”
  • “Why can’t we just be in a committed relationship every other week?”
  • “Can I get a hall pass before it becomes permanent?”

My gawd, are we men really that pathetic? Don’t answer that!

3. Privacy.

Men like to compartmentalize the various parts of their lives. They work, they spend time with their relatives, they have their gang for hobbies and sports, and, if they’re lucky, they have their lady. They really don’t like it when their various lives start overlapping. Boys never liked it when the parents asked about girlfriends, and they never gave up any information when they were asked about their activities.

  • “Where were you?”
  • “Around.”
  • “Who were you with?”
  • “People.”
  • “What did you do?”
  • “Nothin’.”

Maybe it just ain’t anybody’s business but our own.

4. Man up!

There is somebody else who has an interest in the status of your relationship because it’s her relationship, too. Guys, you owe it to your girlfriend and to the dignity of your male brothers to know when the time comes to declare your relationship. There can be various levels of a relationship. You don’t have to go directly to Defcon 5 or Red Alert. When your activities together fall into a pattern that would lead one to believe you are together, let her know she is your girlfriend.

If she’s taken you to two weddings in one summer, she’s your girlfriend. If you’ve met her family and her friends, she’s your girlfriend. If she invited you to her company holiday party, she’s your girlfriend. It’s time for you to start including her in events from the other compartments of your life. And it’s time to start telling other people she’s your girlfriend.

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